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Powermat finally realizes it lost the wireless charging war

by Justin Herrick | January 8, 2018January 8, 2018 11:00 am EST

When wireless charging became the next big thing a few years ago, there were two standards that companies and consumers had to choose between. Only one of them will exist moving forward, though. Powermat announced on Monday that it will join the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the organization working to promote Qi around the world.

The unification should allow Qi to become the global standard moving forward, as if it weren’t already the most popular.

Both wireless charging standards debuted more than a decade ago, but neither started reaching consumer-ready devices in notable fashion until 2012. Phones and tablets started shipping with the technology included, so wireless charging pads were installed in cars and on furniture aside from being standalone accessories. Powermat received support from various companies, but the mobile industry ultimately chose Qi over it.

Apple’s decision to use Qi on the iPhone X and iPhone 8 was the final sign that Powermat couldn’t succeed. With Apple and Samsung going all-in on Qi, there was no way a second standard would survive.

Powermat’s membership with the WPC will give the organization an opportunity to bring Qi to more devices worldwide. It’ll also allow advancements in the technology, including higher power distribution. Backwards compatibility, too, remains a priority as Powermat did achieve modest success over the years.

It’s definitely a positive for consumers. Now they won’t have to consider which standard is on a particular device and wonder whether or not it works with their wireless charging pads.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...